Southern Africa Methodist University should be opened now Mr President!

Posted by Ben Hadley on 2018-02-14 11:07:00 | Views: 12 |

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Southern Africa Methodist University should be opened now Mr President!

I remember as a youth being hopeful that I would attain a degree in my life when done with my Advanced level. Being a Methodist and having been born in a family that knew no other denomination other than Methodist, we received great news at our Chishayamavhudzi Society in Gunde Circuit that the 1994 Methodist Church In Zimbabwe (MCZ) Conference had approved a project to construct a university called Southern Africa Methodist University (SAMU) at Waddilove Institute. Reasons for Waddilove being among others that it was once a tertiary institution that chucked our the great teachers and nurses who ever lived. Societies were mobilised and all Synods accepted the project in 1995 making the project's development dependent on contributions by the membership of the church. I remember making my first contribution of the bona fide ten Zimbabwean dollars somewhere then.

The SAMU Vision was well spelt as 'to be an internationally renowned University dedicated to the furtherance of God's work, the promotion and restoration of human values and a culture of excellence in learning'. SAMU was to be a self governing independent University awarding its own degrees, diplomas and certificates. The governance of the University was to be by a Council representative of all Methodist stakeholders. I liked that the church respected that its internal academic affairs were to be presided over by the Senate.

SAMU then didn't have so many objectives save for  three stated ones then as:

(i) To preserve, transmit and enhance knowledge for the benefit of people of Zimbabwe, Southern Africa and the world;

(ii) To empower students to enhance the formation of their fundamental capabilities, by assisting them to think critically and to be skilful in communication and methods of enquiry;

(iii) To create a sense of public responsibility and to promote respect for learning and pursuit of the truth and meaning of human life;

The church was to be one of the few that owned universities then but I am convinced it is not only myself but many Methodists who got frustrated about the unclear delays and shifts both from internally and externally.  We moved ten years more and hopes were revived in 2003 that the university was to be the fifth run by a church in Zimbabwe, after the Catholic University in Harare, Africa University run by the United Methodist Church near Mutare, Great Zimbabwe University run by the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe in Masvingo and the Seventh Day Adventist-run Solusi University in Matabeleland South.

Methodists are so many and privileged to reasons why our University has taken so elongated to be sanctioned to operate. One being the cold hostilities that lived during the leadership of RG Mugabe originating from Zvimba - Chegutu where our Methodist owned Moleli High School sought to have been taken to be a girls high and sister school to Kutama boys by Gushungo but then faced resistance on such a move even by the late Chief Justice Enock Dumbutchena who dwelled from the area should never be tolerated or be allowed to live another year under the new leadership of  President Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa being a Methodist himself. It's an open secret that the Moleli matter caused headaches as has always been known that RG took it as a challenge to his authority and would not let something go easily hence Methodists would not be granted his signature whenever it was needed.

Methodists have suffered the same fate and discomfiture that the current President suffered regards development of the  university. The untightening of conditions for the opening of SAMU should now just be an official visit away from the President by the Methodist Church leadership. The mindset of those who worked in the previous government where they saw Methodists as only related to the opposition mainly because of the red colours was brainless. To President ED Mnangagwa; Methodists will forever not, rather never forget you if this university is allowed to operate under its original plan. These are votes mwana wekwaChirumanzi can count on should this happen now, if delays happen again, Methodists will never absolve him on that like his predecessor. President ED Mnangagwa has to officially open that University soon. I will challenge the leadership of Presiding Bishop Zwana that now is the time to get the acquiescence to start operating and officially open SAMU under the new political, economical and educational dispensation.

A visit soon to the state house will open up everything and be done like our theme this year, Mat 6; 10 - "THY WILL BE DONE".
Never forget that I still need to attain a degree from SAMU.

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